A Lahore High Court (LHC) division bench on Wednesday granted pre-arrest bail till June 17 to Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif.

During the hearing, Sharif’s lawyers claimed that even though he was summoned by the NAB on Tuesday, the warrants were dated May 28, implying that the watchdog had already decided to arrest him. To this, NAB’s counsel responded by saying that the warrants were issued when there was enough evidence to make an arrest, Dawn reported.

Sharif’s legal team had filed the pre-arrest bail petition on June 1, a day before he was required to appear before an investigation team of the NAB.

However, the bail petition could not be fixed for hearing before the bench on Tuesday.

In March, Sharif had returned to Islamabad from London where he spent the last four months with his ailing brother and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

“Please appreciate (that) I am a cancer survivor and 69 years old. I have been advised limited exposure on account of the peculiar background of low immunity,” he said.

He added that he was available to answer any queries by the investigation team via Skype.

Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) Vice Chairman Abid Saqi and Lahore High Court Bar Association Secretary Haroon Dogal on Wednesday submitted a petition requesting the Lahore High Court to grant Sharif permission to reach the court.

Last year, Shehbaz stepped down as Public Account Committee chief and nominated his party’s MNA from Sheikhupura Rana Tanvir Hussain as his replacement.

In 2018, NAB Lahore had arrested Shahbaz Sharif in Aashyana company case.

In the Ashiyana housing scam, Shehbaz has been accused of ordering the cancellation of a contract given to a successful bidder for the low-cost housing scheme, resulting in a loss of Rs 193 million to the national exchequer.

(With inputs from agency)